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What important topic/idea is neglected or underappreciated among most leftists you have encountered?

Submitted by leftous in AskRaddle (edited )

By topic/idea, it can range from philosophies, areas of study, struggles, etc that you wish more leftists would give more attention to. In your reponse, pointing to a subraddle, wiki, or your favourite resource on the topic would be welcome.

In my experience, it has to be the huge number of leftists who don't realize the importance of establishing ourselves on anti-corporate, free platforms. But clearly we are all here since we agree with that!

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18

emma wrote (edited )

BORN TO DIE

WORLD IS A FUCK

鬼神 Kill Em All 1989

I am trash man

410,757,864,530 DEAD COPS

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RosaReborn wrote

The prevalence of sexism is such a deeply ingrained thing. So many liberals and social democrats struggle to view things outside of an inherently sexist perspective. I've recently had my views broadened when this week my roommate had a bad spat with a guy who is otherwise a kinda soft-leftist, e.g. fuck the police, seize the memes of production etc.but his treatment of her was so despicable and classical male-privilege. Abolishing hierarchies does not stop at capitalism and government but also includes social hierarchies

5

[deleted] wrote

10

emma wrote (edited )

BORN TO DIE

WORLD IS A FUCK

鬼神 Kill Em All 1989

I am trash man

410,757,864,530 DEAD COPS

13

glitter_v0id wrote (edited )

Ableism when it comes to "scary" disorders. People are quick to attack others for a 'stupid' slipping out but that same person will call the thedonald "delusional". Seriously we have plenty of other ways to insult the man, lets not degrade ourselves into attacking our own vulnerable community members??

Stop calling Trump and his supporters "delusional" 2k18, stop using "bipolar" to mean "inconsistent and unpredictable", stop painting people with schizoid disorders as right wing because you're scared of both.

e: incomplete thought in first line

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glitter_v0id wrote

A related but different issue i have is the idea that if the person can speak up about the topic, that they aren't affected.

I see this most in autism discussion - thank you, A$ - but it pervades in all aspects.

I'm "not allowed" to speak about ABA being a dangerous therapy because I 'seem normal' despite having been physically abused to get to that point. I'm "not allowed" to ask for accommodations like give me written directions, not verbal and let me wear earplugs because that's "not a real thing anyway" and "you're normal".

I'm "not allowed" to speak about delusions not being a weapon one should use to attack others because if I'm aware of it then I'm not experiencing it and I'm obviously lying because I shouldn't be able to hold relationships if I'm ~that crazy~ (i shouldn't need to elaborate why that's nonsense)

I'm "not allowed" to speak out about how spaces aren't inclusive to physically disabled because my physical problems are completely invisible and I don't use assistive devices (because I would only need them about 25% of the time, and if I used them when I need them and didn't when I'm OK I'm suddenly "faking it") - aside, god i fucking wish I was comfortable using more physical supports when I want a day in the city. I have to cut my time so short...

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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

For me, the list is endless, so I'll just say a few.

  • A personal preference of mine has always been for people to assume that they are wrong as a matter of praxis, to assume that parts of what they value already are bound up in exploitative frameworks, and then be willing to crush their beliefs and their oppressive self-identifications the moment that they are faced with a good argument.
    Instead, people often don't let themselves really touch on unpleasant thoughts, and sooner get their backs up when someone critiques their arguments because they've built up an identity around their beliefs and so they take it personally. (this is not to say that people needn't make arguments in a careful and empathetic way)

  • I want people to see all things as interconnected in a more meaningful way. (in other terms we might say that I want a deep and pervasive multidimensional intersectionality). Non-racist posthumanist philosophy, understanding humans and deeply enmeshed in relations between their selves and other humans and nonhuman life, seems really important. You care about the environment? Environmental degradation is bound up in capitalism and in racism and in patriarchy and and and. You care about patriarchy? It's bound up in all of these things. Anarchists have to do it all, immediately, I think, or they're fooling themselves.

  • Based on various ways I've seen people engage, Raddle doesn't care enough about race. Raddle doesn't care enough about race.

  • Lots of leftists/anarchists tend to have really shallow and strawman critiques of smaller radical currents, and end up sounding like liberals who say "but somebody has to be in charge! there has always been hierarchy!"

  • I think that anarchists need to be more careful about how they talk about and envision violence. It's very easy to see creeping authoritarianism and ressentiment in the way that a lot of people talk about violence. It's those things that creep in, those hidden tendencies of a movement, that seem to me among the most dangerous elements of its internal well-being.

This is getting pretty long so I'll leave it here for now.

Edit: Critique and thoughts are more than welcome!

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

what are the radical currents that anarchists strawman against?

I really agree with you about intersectionality. I've got a friend that's a really woke feminist and environmentalist but doesnt believe in "convergence des luttes" (as we call it in france), and that's frustrating.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Ummmm, there are a handful (possibly anything that isn't anarcho-communism), here's an example.

  • Left anarchists who discredit post-leftists as 'lifestylists,' totally disengaging, and assuming they just know better because they're onto that 'actual/proper' anarchism. I know a bunch of platformist anarchists who treat any anarchist who isn't platformist like infectious proto-fascist unicorns. This kind of sectarianism - based in a willed disengagement and misunderstanding of others - I find totally ridiculous. That non-seeing and enclosure is (I think) of the same kind involved in racism, so I'm extra wary of those people. (I think it's also the kind of enclosing that makes "anarcho"capitalists think the garbage they think in relation to anarchists)
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Pop wrote

class reductionism

single-issue activism

big-man theory ('ism' with a person's name / fetishising individual contributors to theories)

"the march of history" and teleological thinking

mediated politics / vanguard politics

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ziq wrote (edited )

big-man theory

This is a very common one. The devotion to Noam Chomsky American anarchists have is so unshaking that they'll attack anyone critical of his ideas, even when they themselves disagree with said ideas.

The same things happens with Stirner and Kropotkin. Stirner fans can really get lost in the rabbithole and end up rejecting anarchism altogether because it stands for something. "What would Stirner do?" becomes their mantra for literally every question they approach.

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Pop wrote

Sometimes it feels frustrating how it's so clearly one of the good things about anarchism that we don't have a white man with facial hair as our posterboy, and then anarchists get so high on kropotkin and the bread book
read it if you like and get over it, there's new shit since then and new shit all the time, and stop pretending like anything comes from one person

I wish we'd leave the dead white guys in the ground instead of carrying them around on our backs

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glitter_v0id wrote

class reductionism

Can you expand on what you mean by that? it's a term i'm unfamiliar with but if i've parsed it correctly sounds like one of my pet-hates with left discourse.

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Pop wrote

In short, it's radicals who have a "class first" approach to resolving issues, an approach that assumes that class is the foundational oppression

often with the assumption that once we deal with class the other things will be easy or will fix themselves
enough that some of them will say "we'll worry about that poc/women/gay/disabled stuff after the revolution"

You see forms of this e.g. in manarchists/brocialists saying that arguing about gender is just divisive, we should focus on class concerns

and usually this is the kind of leftism that dismisses intersectional concerns as airy-fairy sjw stuff

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glitter_v0id wrote

Yep. Those people. Those people who can't for a second see that class issues, feminist issues, race issues, gender issues, ableism issues, ALL INTERSECT and you cannot address one without addressing them all.

Unfortunately every aspect of this intersection seems to have its group who feels the others can be addressed "later".. Least common in ableism i've noticed probably because its intersection with race and gender - and by nature of these, socioeconomic class - is harder to ignore but they still exist.

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ziq wrote

"We can tackle that after the revolution" is about the cringiest thing any radical can say.

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glitter_v0id wrote

I'm genuinely unsure how you can reach this kind of radical without recognizing this intersection... it clearly happens but seeing the intersection was my tipping point.

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red_pepper wrote

Embourgeoisement thesis. The collective action of unions created the middle class, but the middle class itself has no revolutionary potential. As more workers are incorporated into the middle-class there is decreased class consciousness and declining working class solidarity. The unions have become victims of their own success. They enabled workers to own private property, invest in the market, save for retirement, acquire cheap credit, purchase cheap commodities produced by third-world and prison labor, ect. These days they have no interest in socialism, or even modest capitalist reforms, because they are themselves beneficiaries of capitalism. They pulled up the ladder behind them.

I'm sure plenty of leftists have noticed this problem. Yet, so many leftists continue to have uncritical support of middle class workers and first-world unions, and are caught off guard when those workers and unions seemingly act against their class interest.

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ziq wrote (edited )

Western anarchists not being able to shake their colonialist worldview and saying things like:

"we can march to your homeland and seize your natural resources if we want because anarchism = no borders + sharing."

Anarchists that don't understand the difference between personal property and private property and think they're entitled to take your shit and displace you from your home.

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Dumai wrote

i kind of wish most anarchists would have a more nuanced approach to religion

or, if i feel like being snarky, at least read anything about religion that isn't marx or goldman

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

I'd love to hear more about this from you. What kinds of points do you think need work specifically?

After that, do you have any very good, accessible starting points in terms of readings?

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Dumai wrote (edited )

i think a lot of atheists, both radical and non-radical, have issues with taking too much for granted from the religious right - namely, the assumption that the bible has to be read as inerrant, or making a claim to inerrancy, or else it cannot be read at all, or even the assumption that scripture has to be the focal point of religion in the first place.

i especially get annoyed with atheists of protestant background assuming every religion has to work like protestantism, like, i once read a reddit thread asking jews how they can believe anyone born gentile is going to hell? assuming justification by faith even makes sense in judaism? and assuming jews believe in "hell" or anything comparable, which most don't! or people asking how buddhism can be a religion if it doesn't have a "holy book" or a "creator god". "buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion" is the dumbest orientalist shit i swear to god. if you hate christianity so much, maybe try not forcing concepts/divisions of christian origin onto other traditions?

and most of all secular anarchists really need a better paradigm for how the religious and the political intersect than "NO GODS, NO MASTERS". egoists are thinking along the right lines when they notice how liberal humanism borrows heavily from normative christianity but i still think they take the divide between the "religious" and the "irreligious" too seriously for people who claim to be above the categories of modernity.

anyway, i think a good place to start with reading would be religious anarchism: new perspectives edited by alexandre christoyannopoulos!

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shanoxilt wrote

I want all religious people to know that all religions are oppressive. Yes, ALL religions.

Atheists have been calling out religious privilege since at least 5 B.C.E. and it is about time someone fucking listens.

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Dumai wrote

"religious privilege"? as opposed to what, the oppression of atheists? so you reckon atheists face social and legal challenges in america, for instance, not experienced by, say, muslims or jews?

what does the term "religion" cover? is it limited to organised belief systems and social practices? does it necessarily describe a belief in the supernatural?

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shanoxilt wrote

Wew, lad.

The theophiles sure do get testy when you point out their bullshit.

Read "Doubt: A History" for a brief overview of skepticism, heresy, apostacy, debunking, and anti-clericalist activism.

Pay special attention to the sections about the Lokayata school of philosophy and the Freedman Freethinkers.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

sure thing, i'll put that on my reading list.

i wasn't really trying to be combative, i was genuinely looking for an answer to those questions! it seems to me "religious privilege" is, at best, incredibly irresponsible, especially when applied to the west, and opens the door to a lot of islamophobia, anti-semitism, colonial ideology, and white supremacy that i think any radical should be able to notice. of course, as a christian, my religious tradition has been historically implicated in all these things! i have to acknowledge and critically engage with that or i'd be contributing to them directly! i think the least i can ask of secularists is that they do the same legwork with their own beliefs, and internet atheists are notoriously bad at that ("religion is a dumb backwards superstition that us enlightened rationals are simply too smart for" is inherently a colonial argument, and i see it in online atheist spaces all the time). so forgive me if i ask you to clarify a bit! i'm honestly not trying to be a dick.

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shanoxilt wrote

The idea that opposing religion is colonialist is itself colonialist because it erases the centuries of naturalist/secularist/materialist thought in Asia, particularly India.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

i'm not saying opposing religion is inherently colonialist, i'm saying colonial politics are very common in atheist circles, that this has a lot to do with the straightforwardly racist genealogies of rationalism and empiricism, and that projecting modern western categories and philosophies such as "secular" and "materialist" onto pre-modern asian schools of thought is, at best, western-centric.

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shanoxilt wrote

Except, again, you're ignoring the parallel developments in other cultures. And some of those schools of philosophy self-identified as "materialist" (although using Hindi rather than Greek).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_India

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists#Indonesia

Now, all that being said, I oppose any sort of organized atheism as that will simply reproduce the issues that religion either upholds or generates.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

the term "materialism" doesn't just describe a physical one-substance monism, or else it (or something like it) could have popped up in philosophical language a lot earlier than the late 17th century. to say that the charvaka school was materialist as anything more than metaphor assumes they had far too much in common with thinkers from modern europe. it also assumes materialism is a much less pluralistic tradition than it actually is and responded far less to questions about identity, class, bourgeois subjectivity, and social critique that faced 17th-20th century europe than it actually did. which is ironically kind of idealist?

now, you're right that charvaka school did not believe in god(s), karma, or spirit. you're wrong that this should mark them as irreligious, or would have done to rival philosophies at the time. the fact that charvaka is traditionally considered a hindu philosophy should probably clue you into that. to say that they were irreligious, you'd have you'd have to first of all establish a definition of "dharma" as totally equivalent with "religion", which is notoriously problematic. as i've said before, "religion" considered as a social sphere completely distinct from wider social, political, and cultural life is a modern western concept, and you should be careful throwing it too far into the past, especially if you're dealing with non-western cultures.

(btw this is why i asked you to define exactly what you meant by "ALL RELIGION" when you said it was inherently oppressive)

it is, of course, true that atheists are widely discriminated against in many parts of the world. this does not mean we should throw around terms like "religious privilege" as if muslims of colour experience the same kind of social advantage in the us as white evangelical christians, or as if the west doesn't have centuries of history regarding anti-semitism and judeophobia. a white culturally protestant atheist in the united states is by no means oppressed on those terms.

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shanoxilt wrote

the term "materialism" doesn't just describe a physical one-substance monism, or else it would have popped up in philosophical language a lot earlier than the late 17th century.

But it does, and it did. The fact that whites overlooked it in Asia and suppressed it in Europe doesn't change the fact of its existence.

you're wrong that this should mark them as irreligious,

They specifically call out the priestly caste as a fraud.

"Spells, incantations, rituals, even the duties of the four varnas [castes] - all these are nonsense, invented for the livelihood of those destitute of knowledge and manliness. If a beast slain in the Jvotistoma rite [Vedic ritual] goes straight to heaven, why doesn't the sacrificer offer his father instead? If offerings to priests can feed ancestors in heaven, how is it that that person standing on top of a house cannot be gratified by food served inside? They cannot - because all such long-distance gratification is buffoonery!"

this does not mean we should throw around terms like "religious privilege" as if muslims of colour experience the same kind of social advantage in the us as white evangelical christians,

But they do, in historically Muslim areas.

Atheist bloggers in Pakistan have been murdered for "blasphemy".

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Dumai wrote

look, if you're just going to refuse to engage with what i'm saying then there's no point in having this conversation.

But it does, and it did. The fact that whites overlooked it in Asia and suppressed it in Europe doesn't change the fact of its existence.

okay then. can you tell me how the materialism of diderot is exactly the same ontological creed as the materialism of la mettrie? can you tell me there's absolutely nothing in marx's materialism that addresses human subjectivity that is absent in diderot? would you say that the charvaka school would recognise anything in common with their philosophical purposes and those of the french materialists centuries later?

They specifically call out the priestly caste as a fraud.

... which doesn't mean they were irreligious, or that the categories of "religion" and "irreligion" would be meaningful to them. if rejecting priesthood makes you irreligious, then sikhs must be irreligious. or if the absence of a belief in the immortal soul makes you irreligious, then judaism didn't become a religion until it was hellenised. if rejecting the existence of god makes you irreligious, then there are plenty of hindus, jains, and buddhists who aren't religious. if you aren't irreligious until you do all three of these things, then there are plenty of devout quakers who aren't religious. none of this is to even touch on the main point that the secular realm is as constructed and historically contingent as religion, which you keep ignoring for some reason?

But they do, in historically Muslim areas.

only if colonialism never happened? only if imperialism is not still with us?

Atheist bloggers in Pakistan have been murdered for "blasphemy".

and i recognised that there are many parts of the world where atheists are marginalised - that isn't actually the same truth claim as "there is such a thing as a unequivocal religious privilege". unless you think atheists in the west experience a harsher degree of discrimination than muslims or jews this can't be something you can defend.

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[deleted] wrote

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Dumai wrote

To sum it up: yes, I experience discrimination for being an atheist.

let's take it for granted that you do. does it naturally follow from here that jews and muslims are privileged? as willing as i am to say jews have made some gains, especially as a result of christian philo-semitism, i wouldn't say they were emancipated, and i would definitely not say anti-semitism isn't still a very present threat in their lives. as far as i'm concerned, you'd have to make those assumptions to say a singular "religious privilege" exists in the united states.

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shanoxilt wrote

European materialism starts with Epicurus, not Diderot. Please, learn this.

only if colonialism never happened? only if imperialism is not still with us?

All Abrahamic religions were spread by the sword. This predates European exploitation of the Middle East.

unless you think atheists in the west experience a harsher degree of discrimination than muslims or jews this can't be something you can defend.

You've clearly never talked to an infidel of color, so I think you should end this conversation here.

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Dumai wrote

European materialism starts with Epicurus, not Diderot. Please, learn this.

that's the traditional genealogy, yes, but it's far from perfect considering "materialism" as it arose in enlightenment european thought addressed philosophical and social questions that would have no relevance for epicurus, and carries historical baggage that he wouldn't recognise if he were here today. that isn't to say there aren't certain things epicureanism and enlightenment materialism have in common, but treating them as part of the same harmonious tradition is problematic.

it's kind of like assuming the modern category of "uncivilized" and the ancient roman concept of "barbarianism" are the same. well, no, not really, i guess you could use them synonymously in casual discourse, but if you're adequately historicising these concepts then you probably shouldn't.

All Abrahamic religions were spread by the sword. This predates European exploitation of the Middle East.

... right, okay. but if we're talking about the present day, you'd have to deny islamophobia even exists to say that muslims experience the same privilege as white protestants in the west, and not to notice how islamophobia itself ties into the history of racism and colonialism.

You've clearly never talked to an infidel of color, so I think you should end this conversation here.

and if i were to do this, they'd tell me that islamophobia doesn't exist and that white atheists of christian background experience exactly the same stigmatisation as they do?

i'm not sure that's actually what you're saying, but it's the only way i can make sense of your argument.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Thanks! b-ok has it here - I'll try to give it a look sometime.

I don't know any anarchists like the ones you're talking about but I can see how they'd exist.

What do you think about anticlericalism as part of an anarchist approach to religion - it seems to make sense to me in terms of a tendency against political/spiritual mediation that I think underlies many people's anarchism.

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Dumai wrote

What do you think about anticlericalism as part of an anarchist approach to religion - it seems to make sense to me in terms of a tendency against political/spiritual mediation that I think underlies many people's anarchism.

i belong to a christian denomination with no ordained clergy and a strictly congregationalist polity partly because i thought along similar lines when i was coming around to religion. it kinda naturally does make sense, doesn't it? that said anticlericalism has a difficult history for me. i think anarchists should be really careful that they don't reproduce old anti-catholic ideology that was closely related to white supremacy in the protestant world, especially if they happen to be culturally or religiously protestant.

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amongstclouds wrote (edited )

Needs more nihilism and cosmic pessimism. Then maybe we could get something done.

Also less anthropocentrism and more emphasis on individual liberation over some kind of historically questionable 'collectivization'.

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happy wrote

Could you expand on why you think there should be more nihilism and cosmic pessimism and why that would allow for more things to get done?

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amongstclouds wrote

I'll write a response when I'm off work but until then I'll drop this here: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/anonymous-desert.

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happy wrote

I'm familiar with Desert but I haven't sat down to read it yet. I think I know what are you trying to say now. When I hear nihilism and pessimism I think of ethics and not of philosophy so I was slightly confused but no I think I understand.

I would still love to read your response though.

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amongstclouds wrote

The idea of Progress was central to the modern Western paradigm and the presumption that the entire world was moving ever onwards to a better future was dominant. The idea of the inevitability or possibility of a global libertarian future originates from that belief.

In many ways Anarchism was/is the libertarian extreme of the European Enlightenment — against god and the state. In some countries such as turn of the Twentieth Century Spain it was the Enlightenment — its militantly pro-science anti-clericism being as much an attraction as its anti-capitalism. Yet the rubbish of history is not so easily discarded and ‘progressive’ revolutionary movements have often been, in essence, form and aim, the continuation of religion by other means. As an example, the belief that universal peace and beauty would be reached through apocalyptic tumults of blood and fire (revolution/the millennium/the collapse) indicates firmly that as an enlightenment ideology, Anarchism has been heavily burdened by its Euro-Christian origins. John Gray was talking about Marxism when he said it was a “...a radical version of the enlightenment belief in progress — itself a mutation of Christian hopes... [Following] Judaism and Christianity in seeing history as a moral drama, that’s last act is salvation.” [2] While some anarchists never fell for such bunkum, many did, and some still do.

These days Progress itself is increasingly questioned both by anarchists and across society. I have yet to meet anyone today who still believes in the inevitability [3] of a global anarchist future. However the idea of a global movement, confronting a global present and creating a global future has many apostles. Some of these are even libertarians and look hopefully to the possibility of global anarchist revolution.

The illusory triumph of capitalism following the destruction of the Berlin Wall lead to the proclamation — more utopian [4] than real — of a New World Order — a global capitalist system. The reaction of many to globalisation was to posit one from below, and this was only re-enforced by the near simultaneous public emergence of the Zapatistas and the invention of the Web. The subsequent international action days, often coinciding with summits, became the focus for the supposedly global anti-capitalist ‘movement of movements’. The excitement on the streets enabled many to forestall seeing the spectre by looking in the direction of the ‘global movement’. But there never was a global movement against capitalism, then [5] , or ever [6] , just as capitalism itself was never truly global. There are many, many places where capitalist relations are not the dominant practice, and even more where anti-capitalist (nevermind anarchist) movements simply don’t exist.

Amidst the jolly unreality of this period of ‘Global Resistance’ some could get really carried away: “We have no interest in reforming the World Bank or the IMF; we want it abolished as part of an international anarchist revolution.” [7] Such statements are understandable if written in the drunk-like exuberance one can sometimes feel on having defeated the police, but they are found more commonly. The self-description of one Anarchist Federation reads: “As the capitalist system rules the whole world, its destruction must be complete and worldwide”. [8]

The illusion of a singular world capitalist present is mirrored by the illusion of a singular world anarchist future.

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selver wrote

Pleasure. Far too many ascetics on the left.

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Dumai wrote

i've really not noticed this problem but i have noticed some people shaming poor women for being interested in expensive fashions which makes me >:[